Tips to Transfer:

In those split seconds after a fracture has happened I am in pain for two reasons:

1. From the hurt of the fracture right at that moment - right then and there
2. From the hurt of the fracture when I will have to move it - in the minutes to come

The first reason is fairly obvious and even tangible. The second reason is a feeling of pain that I have internalized (moving hasn't even happened yet, and already I am flinching from what is to come) - and I am sure many of you - have also internalized this sensation. I dread the moment when I need to be transferred with an unstable broken bone. Today I thought that I would offer some suggestions to make a grueling, sweat-anxiety-provoking, teeth clenching process maybe a smidgen better. Maybe. (I make no promises).

1. Tell the individual!
I am not a control freak because of a personality flaw. (Though that can be argued..) I am a control freak after a fracture has happened because it makes me feel better. It might not look on my face, and from the tears rolling down my cheeks - that it makes me feel better... but trust me it does. The more I am able to 'mentally prep' or better yet: offer suggestions on how to hold me, or where to hold me - the better off everyone will be! There is also such things as 'physically prepping' for a transfer: when I break my femur my abs go stiff; when I break my arm my spine becomes ram rod straight; when I snap a rib I begin to favor one side over the other etc. Even if sitting in a wheelchair, the sudden turn or dip in the road become highly sensitized with a fracture - I can feel anything. Any quick moments of calm and comfort you can offer, I can assure you, will be much appreciated for the person clutching their limbs.

2. Don't take it personally!
As a kid I would, at times, prefer my mother to transfer me after a fracture has happened rather than my dad. Then there were moments when it was the vice versa! This is not some profession of love, favoritism, or  a point towards Team Mom or Team Dad -- it's just a comfort preference. Sometimes mom would know exactly where to place her hands under a broken leg, other times dad would know just how to slip a broken arm into a sling... it depends on the situation and the people around at the time. After putting me down wherever I needed to be, trust me I will not be in the mood to hand you a gold sticker or a medal. My request for you to transfer me, and not that other person, is just that: a request that I am thankful you are able to fulfill.

3. Less is good!
Think before you act. When things, unfortunately become routine, we are swift with action and quick to respond: our impulses tell us exactly what splint to grab and who to call. But when it comes to transferring with a fracture, the less movement is usually the safest -- at least until I am getting the cast put on. Question the situation: Would there be a more efficient way to take her from the floor to the car - that doesn't involve going over the 3 inch bump at the front door? Is there an easier way to transfer from the wheelchair to the car without having to climb into the backseat? Now that she is on the bed, can that pillow she has her leg on be taken into the car too? Can I unload the wheelchair with her in it without causing too much jostling? The less moving involved the fewer potential damage to the bone or fracture site. Yes, we are in emergency mode when fractures happen. But let's proceed with all our brain cells working towards efficiency and ease! 

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